Everything You Need for Happy, Healthy Chickens
There are roughly 50 billion chickens around the world, each clucking their way through another busy day. The U.S. accounts for nearly 9 billion of them. That’s a lot of chickens. If you’ve thought about adding a coop and a handful of hens to your backyard or farm, we’ve put together a quick list to get you started.
Your chickens will need protection from the elements and predators. A sturdy coop is the best way to go. You can build your own or buy a pre-assembled model. Once you have your coop in place, be sure to keep it clean, especially in the winter when chickens will spend more time indoors. Also, ensure there is just enough ventilation so that moisture cannot accumulate.
Coastal Tip: Heaters and bulbs are dangerous. While you want your chickens to be warm, you also want to encourage their winter down. As long as you don’t have a drafty coop, your chickens will stay warm without a heater.
A good feeder helps eliminate messes, keeps food from being contaminated, and ensures your chickens are getting the food they need. There are plenty of options, including plastic flip-top models.
Make watering easy on yourself and your chickens with a large waterer. You can even find heated models to keep water from freezing in the winter.
There are plenty of options when it comes to chicken feed. Just be sure you’re giving your brood all the nutrients they need to be healthy. Whether you’re raising your chickens for the eggs or not, there is special formulated feed, from layer feed, to starter and developer options.
Chickens don’t have teeth. They store small rocks and other items in their crop (at the base of the neck) to break down food. Grit takes the place of those small rocks. You’ll find grit from Nutrena and others.
Chickens love to peck around for grains. Scratch is a special treat you throw on the ground for your hens. Be careful not to feed them too much scratch as it can make eggshells thin. Purina makes a great option.
Add up to 4-inches of pine shavings to the floor of your coop and more shavings to their nest. This bedding will make it easier to clean your coop, reduce moisture, and give eggs a soft place to land.
Calcium and Oyster Shells
Just a bag of oyster shells gives your chickens the calcium they need for a happy and healthy life. An added bonus: calcium helps with egg production.
Flock to Coastal for Your Chicken Supplies
Come on in to your nearby Coastal and get everything you need for your chickens, including feed, bedding, coops and more. We even carry chicks at certain times of the year. Have a question about chickens? One of our many experts has the answers you need.
More Chicken Tips…
- Chickens need plenty of space in the coop to avoid fights.
- Give your chickens access to some dry dirt. It will keep them happy and free of parasites.
- To make cleaning easier and to avoid condensation, line the floor of the coop with 4-inches of pine shavings rather than newspaper.